August 22, 2017

Scot and Jeff welcome Sean Trende from RealClearPolitics to talk about his love of Van Halen. (Reuters photo: Mario Anzuoni)

Introducing the Band
Your hosts @ScotBertram and @EsotericCD, with guest Sean Trende, Senior Elections Analyst at RealClearPolitics: follow him on Twitter at @SeanTrende and read his work here.

Sean Trende's Musical Pick: Van Halen How did Sean get into Van Halen? His first introduction: "Spanish Fly" (Van Halen II, 1979)

The David Lee Roth Era: From Van Halen (1978) to 1984 (1984). KEY SONGS: "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (Van Halen, 1978); "Eruption" (Van Halen, 1978); "You Really Got Me" (Van Halen, 1978); "I'm The One" (Van Halen, 1978); "Runnin' With The Devil (goofy isolated vocals-only version)" (Van Halen, 1978); "Little Guitars" (Diver Down, 1982); "Sunday Afternoon In The Park" (Fair Warning, 1981); "So This Is Love?" (Fair Warning, 1981); "Panama" (1984, 1984); "Jump" (1984, 1984), "I'll Wait" (1984, 1984)

Ranking Eddie Van Halen Among Rock Guitarists Jeff emphasizes how EVH's guitar tone became the Sound Of The Future for so many bands, even those outside the hair metal genre (especially Bob Mould of Husker Du: example #1example #2).

"Van Hagar" — the Sammy Hagar Era The guys discuss the era that brought VH to their commercial peak, groan over Sammy Hagar's amazingly rockheaded lyrics, but give credit where it's due. KEY SONGS: "Summer Nights" (5150, 1986); "Best Of Both Worlds" (5150, 1986); "5150" (5150, 1986)

Question: Is Sammy Hagar the worst rock lyricist ever? Scot makes a compelling case! And Sean chimes in with emphatic agreement. A rueful discussion of the most embarrassing poesy to ever come from the pen of Mr. Samuel Roy Hagar. Jeff loses it when Scot recalls Sammy's classic line from "Why Can't This Be Love?" Sean scoffs as Jeff makes a bold stand in favor of "Right Now," or as he calls it, "The Diet Crystal Pepsi Theme Song." KEY SONGS: "Why Can't This Be Love" (5150, 1986); "Black And Blue" (OU812, 1988); "Source Of Infection" (OU812, 1988); "Poundcake" (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, 1991); "Right Now" (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, 1991); "Amsterdam" (Balance, 1995)

The infamous "no brown M&Ms" contract rider story Sean explains that there was actually a good reason for this seemingly diva-like contract stipulation, but Jeff is disappointed and wishes they were just being jerks: what's the point of being an '80s hard-rock megastar if you can't act capriciously?

Finale Sean, Jeff, and Scot each offer their "two key albums and five key songs" intro. to Van Halen.